taking notes with computer on desk

Why You Need a Note-taking System or App in Real Estate

Taking notes in commercial real estate is all part of the business. You can take notes on properties, people situations, meetings, and business systems or changes.

Your ability to take those notes and later follow up will impact your growth in activities and the finding of listings.

In commercial real estate, there are always plenty of things you can see around you daily that can be real estate leverage points for new business, listings, or client relationships.

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Fresh Eyes for Clear Agent Vision

What do you do each day to find new business? Visit your property market, properties, streets, buildings, and locations. Be on the lookout for changing property situations. Change creates real estate churn, where you can help with sales, leasing, or property management strategies.

The first point of acting on any opportunity in real estate brokerage is to see it. The second point of the process is to capture all the data or details of the situation for later, comprehensive action.

Information well captured prepares the ground for the next level of agent action. Information in commercial real estate is valuable in many ways. When you see something, make your notes.

business woman success
Good agents are organised with systems

The Best Agents Do This

Today’s best agents are organised and systemised to connect with people and find properties. They know that small things seen and researched can lead to more extensive conversations and later listings. That is why they and you can use the note-taking tool.

Google Keep is an excellent business tool for real estate agents as a note-taking system. The note-taking app lets you make digital notes on your mobile phone, including photos, text, or checklists. It all then loads to the cloud.

You can then label the note into groups or property classes. Those labels help you find things in groups later.

Segment or Label Your Notes

One of the best ways to capture those notes for later action is to group them into property classes such as office, industrial, or retail property. Then, you can add the suburbs or precincts.

When the data is captured, you are ready to attend to it at any time. The good thing about most note-taking apps is that they can be printed when you are ready to act.

taking notes with computer on desk
Get your notes organised

My Note-taking System

I always take notes in the field, looking at properties or precincts. Here are some of my ideas about note-taking and working with the data of properties and clients:

  1. Photographs: Always start with some photos of the property. In Google Keep, you can take and store many pictures in a note.
  2. Name and Location: Give the property an address. You can also add a copy of a map image to the note. Just capture a map and put arrows on the map image of the property location.
  3. Improvements: How would you describe the improvements to the property? That would be shops, floors, floor plates or areas, property condition, vacancies, and anything else you can see. Some of the improvements in a property will be attractive to a target audience of buyers or tenants.
  4. Target Market: Consider the property from a sales or leasing perspective. What would be the target market for the property in any marketing campaign? When you know the target market for the property, any marketing campaign you work towards through a sales or leasing situation can be tuned for better results and a more significant number of inspections.
  5. SWOT: I like to do a complete SWOT analysis as I stand and look at the property. If the property is ‘retail’, I will generally find a coffee shop in the tenancy mix where I can sit down and ponder the property, the customers, and the tenancy mix in detail. That is where I take more notes.
  6. Tenancy Mix: When you look at the tenancy mix, consider the positioning of the shops, the layout of walkways and malls, and the individual tenants. Some tenants will be larger and of an anchor nature. Other tenants will be smaller and of a special nature. Could you move tenants around to improve the customer offering? Are some tenants less critical to the property’s future, and should they be moved out when situations allow? The question will then be, what do you replace them with?
  7. Vacancies: Look at the vacant premises on the property now. Why does the vacancy exist? Get an accurate understanding of that vacancy situation and consider what you could do to find a tenant. Vacancies occur on leased property for several reasons. However, they can usually be managed and removed through an ongoing tenant retention plan. That is where a complete understanding of the tenancy mix, the lease documentation, and local business sentiment will help. Make your notes about vacancies.
  8. Opportunities: Every property will have opportunities you can work on. Look at the aspects of income, expenditure, and improvement. You can also check out the lease documents as they apply to the tenancy mix and consider any weaknesses in the lease documentation. Check out the tenancy schedule and check that schedule against the lease documentation.

All these things allow you to improve opportunities in real estate, and do more property research. That is where leads start to grow, and discussions with the property owners or occupants can take you closer to a listing or transaction.

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